'MY HEART IS BROKEN' – AGONY FOR SCOTT AS POLYDREAM COLLARS JAMES GARFIELD
If a week is a long time in politics then how do you measure the timespan of the final half a furlong at the end of a furious sprint?
The Prix Maurice de Gheest is run over a unique six and a half furlong trip and, but for that unconventional addition of 100 yards, George Scott's James Garfield would have made all for a famous first career Group 1 success.
Had that been the case, Freddy Head's petite speedball Polydream would have had to settle for second.
In actual fact it was Head who proudly sang La Marseillaise on the victory podium, while Scott could only reflect with a mixture of immense satisfaction and profound agony after James Garfield had come so close to pulling off a daring win.
"I won’t lie, my heart is broken, but I am so proud of him and for Tim and Bill [Gredley] my father-in-law," said Scott. "He is a warrior and I don’t think it was because he was too long out in front on his own. He certainly wasn’t stopping at the line, we were just beaten by a better horse so we take it on the chin."
Scott admitted he hadn't expected James Garfield to give such a bold show in front, as the Gredleys' yellow and black silks blazed away at the head of a minority group of three on the far side, while the other 17 runners headed for the stands' rail.
"It was the first-time blinkers and he really hit the lids today," said Scott. "He was the last one in and he was ready to jump and run. There are no excuses, he has been beaten by a better horse but he is obviously a very good horse in his own right and it is pretty amazing to have him in my barn."
James Garfield has already provided Scott with a first Breeders' Cup experience and now his first runner in France.
"We’ll go back, take a breath and probably we’ll need to re-plan his campaign now," said Scott. "Six and a half [furlongs] is a specialist trip so we’ll have to look at six and maybe come back to Longchamp for the seven furlong race on Arc day [Prix de la Foret].
"I imagine now he will stay in training and he could be a horse for Hong Kong and Dubai, he could go around the world."
'He's back to his best'
Frankie Dettori has never been short of Group 1 victories during his storied career, but it was obvious that he would have got quite a kick had he been able to add another for Scott and the Gredleys.
"It was a huge race and the blinkers definitely sharpened him up big time," said Dettori. "The last half a furlong I just came to the end of my run and Polydream got me.
"But it was an amazing run and he is back to his best. I’m obviously upset we didn’t win but delighted with the way he ran."